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About Me

An independent critic and writer based in Philadelphia, I am particularly interested in contemporary art
-- photography, video, installation, new media -- but (frankly) write about whatever catches my interest.

Trained as a critic and writer (BA, Brown University) and photographer (MFA, University of Delaware), I am interested in the creation of meaning in works of art. Along those lines, I ask many of the usual academic/critical questions: What are the sources for a given image (historical, art historical, literary, pop cultural) and how do they influence how we read it? What was the context in which the image was made? How do formal decisions contribute to that meaning? That said, my first concern is the image itself. 

Art criticism seems to degenerate either into thumbs-up, thumbs-down rankings or into hyper-academic, over-theorized obscurity. I try to write seriously, clearly, accessibly, and unpretentiously. So I like to begin with – and never forget – my first reactions. How do I respond to this image? What is its emotional impact? How does my relationship to the image evolve as I study it, put it in context, and ask all those left-brain questions?


Image World, Exposure, Good Game, Wild River Review, The Photo Review, Fiber Arts Magazine, The Photograph Collector, Photography International, Art in India, The Photography Criticism CyberArchive, Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism in Pennsylvania Painting, 1950-2000, Insight Guides


2008, Fellow, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst, VA

2003, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship for Arts Commentary

2002, Finalist, Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize, The Center for Documentary Studies

About Me: About Me
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